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InsureWithMax Blog


Date: 23 April 2018 by Max Robinson

State Pension: what’s in it for me?

Having worked for over 30 years, I will qualify for a State Pension when I reach the State Pension age at 67 years old. This provides me with a “small” secure income for life which increases by at least the rate of inflation each year. The reason I say small is the State Pension offers £8,546 in 2018. Are you on top of your State Pension?

Date: 16 April 2018 by Max Robinson

Robo-pension

Unlike the 1:7 people retiring this year who have not made financial provision, I’ve been concerned with my pension arrangements throughout my career. It’s never too late to save for your retirement and the new auto-enrolment pension rules will help many younger workers. Are you ready to pay more into your auto-enrolled pension?

Date: 09 April 2018 by Max Robinson

Teaching money sense

We have entered a new tax year, from April 6. How many older children know this? I learnt about tax and money from my mother – a critical life skill. It helped me manage my own finances as undergraduate student, aged 19. While parents think it’s important to teach children money management skills, few are doing it. Do you teach your children money sense?

Date: 02 April 2018 by Max Robinson

Conquering those food bills

We often consider going to a coffee shop as a necessity, rather than a luxury. It’s easy to drink away the mortgage or rent, as takeaway coffees quickly add up. A working couple spending £30 per week on coffee could rack up over £1,500 in a year; eating into other household budgets. Compare this to the average family spending £53.20 on the weekly food shop, as per Office of National Statistics (ONS). Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

Date: 26 March 2018 by Max Robinson

Life Long Learning

In 2016, I paid for a project management course that lasted a week and I was awarded Practitioner Status. It was a shock to the system, being back in the classroom and doing exams. Not all learning needs to be in the classroom, as there are many ways to carry on your education with little cost. Are you a lifelong learner?

Date: 19 March 2018 by Max Robinson

Avoiding meal dramas

Food and meal times can be a battle of wits for many parents with fussy children. I grew up loving food, never afraid to try new foods, textures and flavours. As a young child, I watched the TV cooking programmes, wanting to try the cooked dishes. Food is an adventure, although for many parents, getting a child sitting at the table, or trying new food can be a stressful event. Are you facing meal dramas?

Date: 12 March 2018 by Max Robinson

The art of a good deal

Buying a new car is a big-ticket purchase, where a decent amount of money can be saved. The new 2018 ’18’ plates have arrived and will run until the ’68’ plates are introduced on September 1st. For some people the fun is negotiating a good deal. I’m not the best negotiator, but I want a fair price when buying a car. How do you negotiate the best deal buying a new car?

Date: 05 March 2018 by Max Robinson

The Pregnancy Dark Ages

A recent survey of British employers, found that over a third of senior managers agree that it’s reasonable to ask women about their plans to have children during the recruitment process. This is shocking, as it’s against the law not to appoint a woman because she is pregnant or might become pregnant. Have you experienced the pregnancy dark ages?

Date: 26 February 2018 by Max Robinson

Working hours is bird hours

I’m fortunate enough to be self-employed, allowing freedom to set my own working hours. Most of my career, I have been an employee working a standard day. Two thirds of workers prefer to start and end their working day earlier than the traditional 9am to 5pm. Every day, 21m people work nine to five, but we all have different sleep-wake patterns. Are you an early morning worker (lark) or work better in the evening (owl)?

Date: 19 February 2018 by Max Robinson

Gold has eternal life

I like owning gold, knowing that almost every civilisation has used it as a form of beauty and wealth. If you are lucky enough to own items containing gold, then there’s a chance that some of the gold may have been mined by the Romans. Why? It’s because all the gold that has been mined throughout history is still in existence. This may seem weird, but the amount of gold on the planet is even stranger. Guess how much gold there is?

Date: 15 February 2018 by Max Robinson

Women cycle power

Spring will be soon upon us and the daylight is returning. Riding to work is a great way of keeping fit and good for the environment, however men are more likely to cycle to work than women. In 2011: 3.9% of male workers cycled to work compared with 1.6% of female workers in England and Wales. How can we encourage women to cycle to work?

Date: 30 January 2018 by Max Robinson

The curse of part-time work

Encouraging women with young children back into the jobs market has been a priority for any government. Flexible workers are happier which means greater productivity. Technology means employers can organise flexible working. Since 2014 employees have had the right to ask for flexible working hours, but as per a recent BBC survey less than half of parents feel it is an option in their workplace. How can this happen?

Date: 22 January 2018 by Max Robinson

Kids hit the gym

January is the peak joining season for joining gyms. I’ve never done a gym workout, which is like saying that I’ve never seen a Star Wars film. Although I like eating, I have avoided weight issues, which I put it down to my genes and doing moderate weekly exercise (cycling). The bad news is that 1 in 5 children leave primary school obese. This has encouraged gym chains to offer special children's membership (aimed at parents). Do you believe that children should be hitting the gym?

Date: 15 January 2018 by Max Robinson

Investment workout in January

After paying for Christmas, thoughts in the New Year should turn to boosting the family’s wealth through saving and investing. In an uncertain world, all of us would like all the “aces” in our saving and investment strategy, whether in the bank or in the stock market. Will you be giving your saving and investing strategy a January workout?

Date: 08 January 2018 by Max Robinson

Pitfalls of cohabiting

My mother was a Relate counsellor and January is the busiest month for couples seeking relationship advice. Many couples are unmarried, as I can testify from being part of 3.3 million couples cohabiting in 2017. Few are aware of rights of cohabiting couples if the relationship breaks down. Did you know that a common law partner doesn’t exist in law?

Date: 02 January 2018 by Max Robinson

Drone on after Christmas

Did you give a drone as a Christmas present? There’s a boom in drones and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most families have small handheld ones. The UK government has announced plans to introduce drone registration and safety awareness courses for anyone who owns one which weighs more than 250 grams (8oz). Few people are aware of the rules surrounding drone usage. Will these potential rules affect your family?

Date: 27 December 2017 by Max Robinson

Join the New Car Sharing Economy

It’s not humbug, avoiding Christmas related posts, as we’re all too busy with festivities, family and friends. A third of UK households own at least two cars or vans. Many of us will be using our cars over Xmas, however most family cars spend 95% of their time parked up. Joining the car sharing economy can make and/or save money. Would you join a car club or car-sharing scheme in 2018?

Date: 18 December 2017 by Max Robinson

Talk counselling

For many years, my mother was a Relate Counsellor, helping countless couples and individuals improve their relationships. The assumption is that talking about troubles is a waste of time. Think again, as every year Relate provide relationship support to over a million people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations. My partner and I spent 9 months with Relate early on in our relationship. We’re approaching our 20th anniversary with strong loving relationship. Do you think counselling works?

Date: 04 December 2017 by Max Robinson

Booze busting myths

I have joined 17% of UK adults, who have not drunk alcohol in the last 12 months; I’m a light drinker rather than teetotal. In my university days, I drank and faced the dreaded hangover, but booze never agreed with me. As the Xmas parties swing into action, alcohol will flow, leaving some worse for wear. Are you planning to drink this Christmas?

Date: 27 November 2017 by Max Robinson

Clicks or bricks when shopping

After a recent birthday, I was reminded of the ease of online shopping; my father sent a present via the post, bought online. Simple and easy, as he hates visiting the high street. Retailers have rapidly switched from the traditional method of selling goods to the web. Although it has many advantages, there are downsides. Do you shop online?